“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.”
― Criss Jami,
This year we ditched the regular old NYE house party packed with children, littered with confetti, greeted with clinging pots and pans, and watched the turning of 2016 from a slightly fancier view alongside a few friends atop a small balcony in a swanky L.A loft party downtown in the rare paring of a formal dinner coat for him, & red lipstick for me. Where we downed three plastic cups of vodka punch and danced together in the thick haze of a fog machine on a dance floor filled with festive glitter speckled balloons. Where we toasted new beginnings and let the weight of a full year's regrets and downfalls spill out of us. Then woke painfully exhausted by the stretch of late night, to a house without four children. Ate breakfast out, picked the boys from their grandmother's house and drove down to the beach to visit friends camped out on the sand for the occasion who poured us champagne at noon in the crisp sunlight of this new year's first day. In notably sharp contrast to last year's grand arrival where we woke to the cold shock of thick white snowfall all around our neighboring hillsides. A day they will forever recount with sugary soaked childhood sentiments if only because it's not something they all know is never likely to happen again.
After champagne on the beach we drove around looking at unfamiliar neighborhoods in surrounding cities. Seeking to make the growing quest for change in scenery this year a reality. Getting to know places, houses, street signs, schools, corner stores we've never seen or heard of before. Leaving little time to sit and reflect on a fleshed out version of my new year's resolution list I had been waiting, wanting, hoping to share here.
But really, hadn't they always been steadily forming at the center of my mind's eye all these stress filled weeks leading up to the turn of this next new year? Indeed. So tonight I sat down to shore up and tighten my thoughts on a few of them. For me to refer back to if and when I might need it.
Which I will.
"Them" being: A Handful of New Resolutions for 2016
More Time on Myself. And by that I mean more focused quality hours where my needs count the same as every other member of the household. When I stop and wonder why it is I don't read as much, or work out like I use to, or eat as well as I should, it's not because I don't "have the time" - an easy excuse we as mothers like to fall back on too often - but because I don't view myself as worthy of the same care and attention I give to my children. So that when I wake early, or have an extra hour in the afternoon I find ways to fill it that benefit everyone, besides me, better. Even when I know I could really use it. My time here remains my most selfish indulgence. But even that I would like to spend more time on. As fulfilling as it's become, it's one of a few things I want to view as priority rather than luxury.
Let Intuition Be the Guide. I've said it before but I swear the older I get the more I know that intuition is all and everything I need. Tells me when something isn't right, when things aren't working out, and what could use more of my attention or fine turning. A most reliable inner guidance that keeps the truth churning around the forefront of my everyday grind. A gift in myself I was quick to recognize as a child but cherish much harder as an adult. A moral compass that works a steady hand in keeping the path clear, and more apparent when direction or insight grows weak.
Lend Time and Heart to the Ones Who Give it Back. This year, in particular, I would say has been especially eye opening for me in this area. In that I suddenly seemed to come awake to the time and energy I put forth on people who don't necessarily care for me the same way. I saw the nature of some friendships shift, falter, fizzle and fall away. Not due to defining quarrels or conflict but various issues, where at a certain point I suppose I gave up on forcing them. Deciding that as much as I want certain connections to work out and flourish, at this age I'm no longer interested in convincing anyone to be my friend. And when I stop and realize how fortunate I am to have a handful of incredibly strong, dynamic, consistently supportive ladyfolk in my life, I know that anything outside of that kind of unwavering kinship - that doesn't share the same degree of support and positivity - is not the kind of bond I need keep chasing. Even when it involves circumstances I always hoped might work out better in the end.
Be Honest And Know When to Say No. This is one area where I think I've grown majorly over the past two years but could still use some work in exercising more confidently. Knowing what feels right for me, how to stay honest, and when to say no. Three things that make a world of difference in the grand scheme of my day to day mood. And the overall tone of a working household.
Be More Curious and Unafraid. To learn more. Seek out. Be Braver and get better.
My Health as a Staple. Daily, not in spurts. With the same attention I show my boys. More consistently nurturing in way of the food I eat and the exercise I keep. Books, vitamins, naps, and even mediation too.
Lessen The Load. Mainly the stuff I don't love or need that is so weighing on me this last year. Must, Toss, it, all, out.
Accept The Mess. Prior resolutions sought to be "more organized" to help me feel more like an accomplished home maker. But I've arrived at a place now where I know that anything I do is not going to find me in a consistently tidy household. It's just not going to happen. Fact is, I have four kids. Four boys who swoop in room to room like a whirlwind of crank and clutter and that's not going to change anytime soon. So instead of seeking improved ways to keep a neater home, I'm working more towards embracing the reality of where we're at in life raising boys who seem to live and swim in legos, and break shit by the hour. Where it's a loud and messy land we live in and it's all ok.
Know The Now. Like they say, it's all we can really count on. Letting go of the past, placing trust in the future. Finding that freedom there in between.
Operate With Refined Intentions. In everything from the clothes I buy to the thoughts I keep, being aware of all or our motives and intentions and where they are rooted is the best way I can think to keep the quest for selfless evolution moving foreward. Being conscious of what I want and why. Working harder to make moves with better thought intentions. Working to exist more in present (as terribly cheese as that reads today) And with that reap the rewards of more consistent productivity and fulfillment.
And lastly, Yell Less. Because, I guess I do it a little too much.
As for resolutions. Care to share some of yours?